I had a good time :-) The best way to spend election night ever. I popped my Blackcat cherry and was welcomed by Robin vjing and mixing drum& bass at the same time. It was one of my favorite nights in a long time.
Adam didn’t win, but he ended up getting more votes than Bush- which I think is pretty cool.
Feature: Election distortion at the Black Cat
By Stokely Baksh
Published 11/3/2004 12:36 AM
WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 (UPI) — Distorted images of live feeds of election results and news anchors was the backdrop of election night at the Black Cat as patrons of the left spectrum from anarchists to moderates and supporters of Sen. John Kerry were exposed to techno music and election talk.
“Election Night Remix” showcased the local talents of DJ Spooky That Subluminal Kid, videographer and producer Robin Bell and a Media Deconstruction Kit created by Randall Packer from the U.S. Department of Art and Technology.
“We’re here to dance, we’re here to party in a totally non-Washingtonian fashion,” said Washington resident Melissa Ballowe. “Sure we’re going to watch the election results, but we’re going to have fun.”
Ballowe soon found herself torn between the music and watching the results of the election from a nearby television, eagerly hoping that President Bush would not win another state and the Democratic Party candidate Sen. John Kerry would emerge victorious. “I’m a nervous wreck,” Ballowe said.
During the show, many revealed their political ideologies and discussed the election. They included Laura Harris, 22, who works the door at the nightclub. Harris was watching the election results during her break.
She says that shows like these aren’t unusual for her since employees are politically active and the nightclub has been the host for many politically inspired shows.
“We try to be involved,” said Harris, who mentioned that they have worked on the Kerry campaign.
Harris also shared her feelings about the current election, the Republican voter, uninformed voters who are voting and her views of young people as well as the media.
“Hollywood media is crap, no one knows what’s going on,” Harris said. “They just need to speak in layman’s terms and explain everything.”
However, while many came out to see the elections, others came to see the musical performances, especially that of DJ Spooky.
Patrick Tuffy, who just moved from Boston, came out to the show not only to see the DJ but also to watch some of the election, which he could not see at home.
“(DJ Spooky) actually puts on a good show and I don’t have a TV at home, so at least I’ll be able to see the preliminary election results,” Tuffy said.
Although the crowd was mostly made up of young people, many older adults were seen hanging out in the same crowd talking politics and learning about a new subculture.
“(We’re) actually celebrating a birthday for my son and we wanted to see the elections,” said Maryland resident Cameron Niakan, who stands looking out over the crowd, which was still trickling in.
Niakan, who is originally from Iran, said that this was the first time he had visited the nightclub and did not know what to expect.
“I am a little too old for this music, but I can tolerate it,” said Niakon, who said he had recently turned 40.
For Randall Packer, the creator of the Media Deconstruction Kit, the experience was new. Packer, who began work on the kit in January, collected news coverage of the campaign trail. During the show, live feeds from news stations were shown in which they were manipulated and distorted by software he developed.
“I really want to have an impact on young people who come to these clubs and activate them,” said Packer, who hopes his artwork will inspire people. “We mix a few things that are not from tonight’s coverage, to show the confusion and the manipulation of broadcast.”
Packer, whose artwork has been shown in museums all over the world, said that he started the project because of the increase of media bias and polarization.
“The media articulates and calculates the perception of the government and whether it is right or wrong, it lies or tells the truth,” Packer said. “A lot of people feel helpless — they have no control over the media and the media is controlling their reality.”
Packer called tonight’s experience an anthropological experiment bringing experimental, radical art to the nightclub and providing people with a “purely artistic experience.”
However, videographer Robin Bell just hopes the event will bring people together and make them dance.
“Most Americans will sit isolated at home getting either ready to be angry or passive,” Bell said. “We’re hoping that no matter what the result is, people come out.”